Talk:with bated breath

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Perhaps because the origin of this phrase has become obscure, in my circles at least it is used almost exclusively in sarcasm. Whether that's a sign that it is likely to disappear from the language soon, or take on the opposite meaning, I'm not sure. -- Kevin Saff 16:38, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

What about the possibility that the fitting spelling is "baited"? Thus the meaning resides in anticipation of a strike by the "fish," baited breath representing the allurement and sense of enticement before success is achieved. Rammer (talk) 18:25, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
It's not bait but bate. See the verb at bate: "To reduce the force of something; to abate." Equinox 18:31, 4 March 2013 (UTC)